Ireland is one of approximately 70 countries that participated in TIMSS 2023. The 2023 cycle marked Ireland’s transition to digital assessment, reflecting the widespread use of technology in society.
In March/April 2023, the TIMSS Main Study was carried out with a nationally representative sample of approximately 160 randomly selected post-primary schools.
Within each school, up to two Second Year class groups will be randomly selected to participate in the assessment.
Students participating in TIMSS are asked to complete a computer-based maths and science test. Ireland also administered paper-based assessments to an additional sample of students (‘bridge sample’, also referred to as the ‘national comparison sample’), which will allow for a comparison of performance between the paper- and computer-based assessments. The TIMSS 2023 assessment included new and engaging item formats, interactive features, and scenario-based Problem Solving and Inquiry tasks (PSIs) that motivate students and capitalise on the digital environment.
Following the assessment, students are given a Student Questionnaire, which asks questions about the student’s background, their use of digital devices, what they think about school, and what they think about maths and science.
TIMSS also aims to gather useful background information from other sources in order to build up a better picture of the Irish education system. Principals and teachers of Second Year students who participate in TIMSS are asked to complete school and teacher questionnaires, respectively. These can be completed by paper or online and are an important part of the TIMSS study. Information collected through these questionnaires is valuable in interpreting the results of the assessment, and in providing a snapshot of students’ views on their educational experience.
Examples of TIMSS test content
Some examples of the type of maths and science questions that were used in previous TIMSS Eight grade (Second Year) assessments have been made available to the public.
- Sample content from TIMSS 2019 Eight grade (Second Year) assessment can be accessed here
- Sample content from TIMSS 2015 Eight grade (Second Year) assessment can be accessed here
- Information for students who have been selected to participate in TIMSS can be found here
- For the TIMSS 2019 summary flyer and infographic for Second Year in Ireland, click here
- For Ireland’s TIMSS 2019 results, click here
- For a full list of publications from TIMSS 2019, 2015, and 2011 in Ireland, click here
- More information on TIMSS internationally can be found here